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Opinions of Friday, 11 September 2020

Columnist: Paul Abrokwa, Contributor

Hostel rent issues on campus - USAGs advocacy

The rents of some hostels and ‘homestels’ in our Universities cost more than tuition fees thus compelling some students to commute from their various homes to campus every day as they have been economically excluded from the hostel market.

In some Universities, even if much money is paid for a hostel based on certain specifics, upon assumption, those specifics sometimes stand to be proofs of gimmicks.

Students sometimes pay huge sums of monies ranging from at least 1800 minimum to 4800 as accommodation fees for just academic year, even with this, you move your belongings from the hostels and 'hometels' when the semester ends making travelling during vacation cumbersome.

Paying so much for accommodation is killing the interest of students attending the various universities in Ghana.

Private Universities are not exceptional, hostels available for these private universities are been occupied by foreigners who have enough money to pay, making accommodation for local indigenes very difficult.

This bane has invariably confronted students progress and has crippled their ability to be more productive in their endeavours.

The University Students Association in a wide bid to shelve, as a topmost priority the Ghanaian student's interest called on the Office of the Rent Control on 8th September for an in-depth discussion on how to attenuate and fix the problems regarding rents in our Universities.

The Association advocated strongly for that:

1. Hostel and ‘Homestel’ Managers/Manageress should reduce hostel fees for students to acquire rooms at affordable prices.

2. The Rent Control Department since it has oversight responsibility for the management of all hostels. It must come out with guidelines stating clearly which amenities, number of students to share a room, and other things that make life relatively comfortable.

3. Establishment of student representation on the Rent Control Board to serve the board with students’ recommendations and grievances.

4. Ghanaians should be taught lessons on maintenance as it would help preserve the few amenities available in the hostels.

5. The provision of security logistics should be inculcated in students domicile for their safety on campus.

The Association also underscored the plagues of insecurities i.e Theft cases on other campuses and rape cases e.g rape case on UDS WA Campus (Now, S. D. DUMBO UNIVERSITY OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND INTEGRATED STUDIES) etc. combating students wellbeing on campus, clamping down their magnificent aspirations hence fueling unproductivity, and causing University students to patronize the shift system of attending lectures.

This positively led to the deployment of a rent control officer to Winneba to help untie intricacies on the grounds of the University of Education, Winneba. USAG wishes to inform students of this domain to contact their SRC executives for the involvement of the Officer any complicated rent issues they face.

Factually, the wellbeing of students on our campuses has been over the time past neglected whiles a clear path of development lingers with few plying through. USAG as a student organization will continually advocate the rights of the entire student body, knowing we have a listening, active and a potent President of the Republic of Ghana.

The advocacy was well received by the Executive Officers of the Rent Control office, and with immediate effect requested USAG for two student representation for their next meeting on the matter in coming days.

He also told the delegation that the department has also formed a committee to clunt landlords/landladies and tenants across the length and breadth of the country and called on every citizen/students to volunteer information on this national assignments.

Again Mr Ampofo appreciate the courtesy call by the union as this is the first time in history and would go along way to alleviate student’s plights as well as making their works easier with the assurance that, by the time school reopens, things would be normalize.

Present at the meeting was Twum Ampofo (National Chief Rent Control Officer, Accra), Felicia Obeng and MAsamoah, (both Executive Staffs at Rent Control Unit, Accra), as well as Paul Abrokwa President, Kwadwo Yeboah Murdock Press and Information Secretary and Opey Joshua the general secretary of the union.

On the part of the government, USAG wants to use this medium to ask the government to quickly put something together in relation to University accommodation and help reduce the high cost of accommodation in our various both public and private universities as the double-track students are lasing their boots for admission.

We are confident and very sure that the office of the minister of education would in the coming days' form design a roadmap to alleviating this plights.

USAG would want to assure students of its ardent commitment in reflecting students voice, any day. Thank You

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